Evaluating Healthcare Providers’ Utilization of Social Support for COPD Patients
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractBackground: Currently, most primary healthcare providers manage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) through pharmacological treatments, often lacking assessment of the patient’s social support. A lack of social support negatively impacts the quality of life (QOL) of individuals with COPD resulting in increased morbidity, hospital readmissions and excessive costs (Metting, van der Molen, & Kocks, 2016). A comprehensive approach extends beyond pharmacological management to include ways that improve patients’ disease knowledge and self-efficacy, resulting in better disease management and improved QOL. Aim: The purpose of this quality improvement (QI) project is to increase healthcare providers’ understanding of the importance of adding a social support referral as part of a comprehensive treatment for patients with COPD. Methods: The QI project was conducted at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona. The targeted participants were registered nurses, case managers, social workers, and any other care providers in telemetry units, where most COPD patients are treated. The project included a pre- and post-test survey questionnaire and a brief PowerPoint educational presentation. The presentation showed the positive role of social support groups for COPD patients based on multiple evidence-based studies and introduced several options of social support groups to the participants. Results: Total number of participants who completed the project were 42 (n=42), and included registered nurses, one case manager, and one social worker. Most of the participants were not aware of the existence of any social support group before the educational presentation. After the presentation, the collected data demonstrated increased participants’ knowledge and attitudes about the social support groups and the participants’ willingness to utilize the social support referral as part of a comprehensive education and treatment for COPD patients. Conclusion: The referral of social support program is a cost-effective intervention. As shown in several evidence-based studies, the benefits are endless when integrating the referral of a social support group, such as the Better Breathers Club, into COPD patients’ education and discharge planning, so that the patients themselves can connect, share their experiences, learn to better cope with the disease, improve their knowledge and self-care and reduce their depression, exacerbation, and hospital readmissions.
Degree ProgramGraduate College